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Only A Pavement Away (OAPA) and celebrated British chef Tom Aikens, are calling on businesses to sponsor this year’s Cook and Dine. The special fundraising lunch which sees 260 industry guests celebrate and showcase all that is great about the UK’s hospitality industry, will take place on Wednesday 15th September 2021, from 1pm – 5pm, at the stunning Grade 2 listed Freemasons Hall in London.
Cook and Dine is the brainchild of OAPA’s Founder & CEO, Greg Mangham. Now in its second year, the premise of the unique fundraising event is simple; to bring everyone who works in the hospitality industry together, no matter their background, experience or seniority and raise funds to help support people facing homelessness find and forge new careers in hospitality.
In collaboration with chef Tom Aikens, the event will see both front of and back of house volunteers create and deliver a first-class menu for guests with dishes including artichoke and apple soup, raised beef cheek with fermented grains and charred celeriac and soya bean and ginger panna cotta with candied pumpkin and jelly. The afternoon will also raise awareness of the ongoing work of Only A Pavement Away – the industry charity supporting people facing homelessness, prison leavers and veterans into careers within hospitality.
Greg Mangham, said: “With the events of the past year now behind us, we can’t wait to host this special in-person event and bring a cross-section of our brilliant hospitality industry together for one afternoon. Cook and Dine is first and foremost a showcase for UK hospitality where we prove that no matter who you are or where you come from, you can cook together, serve together and eat together. As ever, we’re extremely grateful to Tom Aikens – a true icon in our industry – who has taken the time to design an exclusive menu, and we’re looking forward to seeing the dishes cooked on the day by Tom and a number of key industry volunteers. Our front-of-house and back-of-house roles will also have some recognisable faces and consist of both our charity members and industry leaders.”
All proceeds from Cook and Dine 2021 will allow OAPA to support a further 250 people facing homelessness into jobs within hospitality over the next 12 months. Currently working alongside 68 hospitality employers and 71 charity partners, OAPA is now looking to partner with more hospitality businesses to offer employment to those facing homelessness, prison leavers and veterans. In addition, the charity also has over 200 work-ready candidates listed on its Candidate Profile Page (CPP) jobs board which is designed to support individuals who are looking to start new careers within hospitality. The charity is also seeking funding from industry backers to enable it to reach its goal of placing 700 members into employment over the next 3 years.
There are various sponsorship packages available for Cook and Dine 2021, including Headline Sponsor (£20k), Category Sponsor (£5k each) and Drink Reception Sponsor (£2.5k). Businesses are also welcome to donate auctions and raffle prizes ahead of the event. For companies looking for more information on sponsorships and ways to support the event, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Greg added, “By 2026, it is estimated that there will be another 1.3 million vacancies in the hospitality industry. At the same time the number of rough sleepers is on the increase. By joining forces with us you can help someone get their life back on track and help fill the industry with hard-working, committed staff. Preparations for Cook and Dine are going well but we still need help to bring this year’s event to reality. Any sponsorship support, no matter how big or small, will be truly appreciated over the coming months and we are looking forward to hearing from interested parties – please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Tom Aikens said: “It’s such a privilege to be working alongside Greg and the team once again and I am looking forward to seeing so many familiar faces at Cook and Dine this year. Hospitality has experienced hardship like never before in recent months, so it’s fantastic that we’re in a position to look forward to the future again. What better way to toast this new chapter than with an industry event like this!”